Sunday, September 25, 2005

Haitian-American fights to run for president of Haiti

A wealthy U.S. businessman whose bid to run for president of Haiti was rejected by electoral authorities defiantly pledged Saturday to fight for a spot on the ballot in his native country's first election since the February 2004 ouster of Jean Bertrand Aristide.Dumarsais Simeus, owner of one of the largest black-owned business in the United States, said he has appealed to the Provisional Electoral Council to reverse its decision to strike his name from the list of presidential candidates in the Nov. 20 election and will do "everything possible," including filing a legal challenge if necessary, to participate in the race.
"This election, without us being allowed to participate as a presidential candidate, will have no legitimacy whatsoever," Simeus, the son of illiterate Haitian rice farmers, said at a news conference in the capital.
The electoral council late Friday issued a list of 32 approved presidential candidates a diverse group that includes former government officials from across the political spectrum and a leader of the rebellion that forced President Aristide out of office and into exile in South Africa.
Simeus, the 65 year old owner of a Texas based food services company, was rejected because he has U.S. citizenship, said Rosemond Pradel, the council's secretary general.


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